Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Most Dangerous Job in Business?

Yep... you guessed it. It's the Chief Marketing Officer, and chances are yours is just leaving.

So says June's edition of Fast Company magazine. As the portfolio of recent CMO casualties stacks up (Mary Minnick at Coca-Cola; Kerri Martin at Volkswagen; Michael Linton at Best Buy; John Fleming at Wal-Mart), is this position becoming a dinosaur? And, in all this hub-bub, usually the new CMO gets rid of everything the guy before championed. A lot of things get discarded and a lot of time and money gets wasted.

Maybe most executives in the C-suite utilize the CMO as the "fall guy." When numbers turn down and Wall Street casts a critical eye, the first instinct of the CEO certainly isn't to fire themselves. Getting rid of the CFO would spook stockholders and changing a COO or CIO could disrupt operations. So, the CEO thinks, "Who's that other guy who's left? Oh, yeah... the glorified 'brand advocate.' Get him in here. Somehow this has got to be his fault."

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